Category Archives: Green Solutions For Beautiful Floors

Beautiful Floors #1: Paint It Black

"The floor in the back room is finished, and it is beautiful. I couldn’t be happier. What used to be the dirtiest, most neglected and depressing room in the house is now unbelievably peaceful, clean, and fresh."
“The floor in the back room is finished, and it is beautiful. I couldn’t be happier. What used to be the dirtiest, most neglected and depressing room in the house is now unbelievably peaceful, clean, and fresh.”

Or white, as the case may be…

In the tradition of “less is more”, beautiful floors without rugs are an elegant option…

As a bonus, making use of an existing bare floor is inherently ecologically sound.  The more often we continue to use what we have, the less wear, tear, stress and carbon footprint we leave on the environment.

What can you do when your floors can no longer even be called “passable”?

The simplest, cheapest thing to do is paint the floor. Pull a color from your existing color scheme or create a new color scheme using the new floor color as a reference.  You can be bold here: Dark green, Chinese red, or even black.  Just be sure to reference your color elsewhere in the room, and check that the furnishings and draperies have enough “presence” to hold their own.  Strike a “strength balance” to avoid overwhelm.  While you don’t want the furniture and draperies to look “anemic”, with a strong floor color, you also don’t want every item in the room competing with the floor for attention.

Want a little more dash for your paint? Paint a pattern on the floor.  Horizontal stripes will make a room seem wider.  Vertical stripes lengthen.  An over all pattern can lend a cohesive look and add tremendous charm to small room.  Here’s an inspired idea:  Paint a rug under your dining table instead of using the real thing.  You will never fear a sloshed glass of red wine again.

Painting a floor isn’t hard to do, but you do have to plot out the design carefully. Work out your pattern on graph paper.  One square equals one foot.  Now draw a grid on the floor you want to paint in one foot squares using chalk or charcoal.   It’s a big help if you number the squares on both the paper and the floor.   Transfer your design square by square.  Paint one color at a time to minimize confusion and placement mistakes.  When all the colors have been applied to your satisfaction, let it dry completely before the final step.  You’ll need to apply at least two coats of polyurethane to protect and seal the finish.

More options than low VOC paint.  Not only is water based polyurethane available, but there is a soy based green polyurethane that’s said to be even better for the environment.  It’s called Poly Soy Eco Procote polyurethane.  Check it out.

A beautiful hardwood floor enhances any décor.

Your wood floor however, is tired, scuffed and needs serious attention. If you are up for a new idea, wood floors need not be stained brown. There are colored wood stains available.  Another interesting idea is to stain the floors in a pattern using different colors, even if you do choose a palette from an array of more traditional brown tones.  You might consider a stripe or even a subtle plaid, believe it or not.

Refinishing involves stripping, sanding, in some cases bleaching, then staining and sealing.  It’s a big job.  Consider calling in the professionals.  An acrylic coating system is more durable than oil based finishes, dries faster and is non-toxic. The key to the best, longest lasting and most beautiful floor finishes are in the quality of the products you use.  This is one case where you get what you pay for.

Next Time: Beautiful Floors #2: Scruffy Beyond Redemption?

Related Posts

(Beautiful Floors Two Part Series)

Beautiful Floors #2: Scruffy Beyond Redemption?

This photo comes from one of my favorite blog sites,  The writer makes DIY synonymous with Clever, Stylish and Cool…

The original version of this article was published on It’s presented here as a foundation for further topic discussion and updates .